Taking Digital Advertising To The Next Level

Tools to better reach your target online

By Susan Casey, Media Director

Digital advertising has become an important part of nearly every ad campaign in the market today, as the modern consumer increasingly splits their attention between traditional media and mobile devices. But today’s advertisers need more than just a banner ad to really maximize an investment. To effectively reach a specific audience, businesses need a digital marketing strategy that takes advantage of the latest targeting tools.

First, some quick background: Digital advertising (known as digital display advertising in the biz) is when a custom ad is “displayed” on websites either across the top or side of a page, when viewed on a desktop computer, or within an app or mobile site. This form of advertising is purchased by impressions, or the number of times the ad is guaranteed to be shown.

Jumping back to targeting tools, the sheer amount of data available to today’s marketers is mind-boggling. Browsing history, cookies, IP addresses, purchasing history, all can be compiled to place consumers into digital marketing “buckets” that allow advertisers to reach their exact target, with very little waste.

Although they change by the minute, the following are some of the most common tools digital marketers use to find their ideal customer as they browse the web or interact with their favorite apps.

  • Retargeting is perhaps one of the most familiar forms of digital advertising, at least to consumers. Retargeting works by adding a line of code to a website which places cookies (reminders) on visitors’ browsers. “Cookied” users are then served ads across other websites they visit up to eight times. Just to complicate things, retargeting can be added as an extra layer to other targeting strategies.
  • Demo targeting uses data from various sources to serve ads to the audience based on their demographic information, including age, gender, household income, etc.
  • Contextual targeting technology works by scanning a website for relevant keywords. Ads are then served on web pages within ad networks based on the content displayed to the consumer. By placing ads on pages that feature content relating to campaign messages and audiences, advertisers can drive highly-targeted traffic to a website.
  • Custom audience, or behavioral targeting uses third party data to create unique audience profiles for advertisers based on behavior, demographic and search habits.
  • Geo-fencing or hyper-local targeting uses GPS technology to serve ads to people on mobile devices as they enter a specific radius around a designated area. This technique allows business to reach an audience with extraordinary geographic precision.

Another new digital advertising strategy available to advertisers is “lookalike” modeling. Once a group of people interact with a campaign ad, they will be profiled based on common data. After that core profile is created, an ad network will search for more people with the same characteristics. This model builds upon itself, gradually growing an audience throughout the life of a campaign, and thereby creating a group of people who are highly receptive to a particular message.

All of these tools and techniques allow businesses to create a digital advertising campaign that is highly specific to their needs. If you need help determining how to best use these tools, or don’t even know where to start, give Devaney & Associates a call and let us develop the right campaign for you.